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  • Writer's pictureLiz Maguire

Market Research: Clients & Competition.

So you want to start developing a more complete idea of your positioning in the market, whether it be existing or potential. That calls for market research. Market research is the act of gathering information about what forces influence and shape consumer behaviors'. But where can you get started, and how? Let's first look at customers and competition.

Who are my clients/customers?

Figuring out who your clients or customers are early on will make all the difference for your marketing strategy later. If you haven't yet designed a persona for your brand or service, this is a great time to do so. You don't want to waste your time, money, and effort on marketing to the wrong audience. Developing a strong persona, or idea of your ideal client/customer, helps you aim your marketing.

Make a persona not just by writing down what you think your client/customer looks like but by going after the data. A business persons best and worst tool is their gut. Use your gut instinct as a starting point but by no means should it be the finish line. You might be surprised what the process of deep diving and creating a persona can reveal about the direction of your brand.

Demographics like age, gender, income level, etc. can help define who you will be selling to and how they would prefer to be sold to. Want to get started?These questions will help color and inform your client/customer persona:

  • What age are my clients/customers?

  • What genders are my clients/customers?

  • Where are my clients/customers located?

  • Why do they hire or shop with my brand or service?

  • What do they want from my brand or service?

Who are the competition?

Once you perform a S.W.O.T analysis of your own business you can turn that tool outwards for a better picture of the competition in your chosen market niche. Do you know which brands are your competition? By finding and defining your competition you can begin to assess what marketing works -- or doesn't -- in your choice of market.

Let's be clear that this is not permission to imitate or copy content or strategy from your competition. This exercise is to cultivate a list of brands or services in the industry which are setting a standard you ideally want your business to meet or match.

These questions will help your inform idea of brands or service in your market and how they can help inform your marketing:

  • Who are the top 3-5 brands or services in my industry market?

  • What makes these 3-5 brands or services elite?

  • Where do these 3-5 brands or services market themselves?

  • How do these 3-5 brands or services market their business?

  • What is one thing that each of the 3-5 top brands or services do that the other 4 don't? (i.e. run giveaways, gamification at lead generation, video content, etc.)

  • What is one thing that each of the 3-5 top brands or services don't do well that you think your brand or service should do or offer? (i.e. customer service chat, brand photography, use of customer reviews, etc.)


Market research is the best tool in your arsenal when you are setting out a marketing strategy. It informs all your decisions and helps keep you on track with your resources and energy. By defining a clear client/customer persona and having an idea of your competition, you are on your way.

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